A loss prevention manager helps secure a company's assets to protect against theft or other loss. A manager may oversee transactions and have a role in interviewing employees to find employee theft. He may also help institute programs within stores or companies designed to reduce or diminish losses or theft.
In the retail world, there are a number of possible ways in which theft may occur. An independent shoplifter may come into the store and steal items; this is often the simplest type of theft to identify and resolve. Some criminals, however, can make this type of shoplifting more complex. They may steal items and return them for cash, for example.
Employees may also work with outside thieves, setting up schemes to defraud the store and take money. For example, the employee may ring an item up for the wrong price and allow his friend or accomplice to take it from the store. He may also accept returns on stolen items without following store protocol or otherwise facilitate an outside third party's theft of items.
Employees may also engage in theft on their own. They may take money from the cash drawer, for example. They may also take merchandise or other items from the store.
While these thefts occur most often in a retail setting, theft can occur in any business. Employees could steal office supplies, client lists, or petty cash. Any and all of these thefts cost the company money in lost assets.
A loss prevention manager both identifies risk factors for theft and helps create programs that minimize the possibility of theft in the first place. A loss prevention manager, for example, may oversee register receipts and transactions to look for red flags that suggest an employee is engaging in or assisting in theft. The loss prevention manager could then take steps to determine whether the employee was in fact engaging in the theft. He could do this by sending in a mystery shopper, setting up cameras, interviewing the employee or auditing the cash register or books the employee keeps.
While reacting after the fact is an important job of a loss prevention manager, perhaps a more important job is setting policies that prevent the loss or theft in the first place. For example, a manager may institute a specific screening program that human resources must follow before hiring an employee, including a background check. The manager may also make suggestions such as the installation of security cameras or the use of other anti-theft devices.